Press Release: Acis and Galatea

14 Sep 2014 7:47 PM | Deleted user


Margaret Volpe



Thomas Beveridge






New Dominion Chorale and Orchestra, conducted by Artistic Director Thomas Beveridge, will open its 24th season with a performance of G. F. Handel’s pastoral opera, “Acis and Galatea.” The concert will take place on Sunday, October 26, 2014, at 4:00 p.m. at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center, 4915 East Campus Lane, Alexandria, Virginia, on the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College.

The performance will feature finalists of the 2013 Washington International Competition: soprano Abigail Mitchell (second place winner) in the role of Galatea, and tenor Allan Palacios Chan in the role of Acis. Other soloists are bass Jeffrey Tarr in the role of the monster Polyphemus and tenor Matthew Hill as the shepherd Damon.

“Acis and Galatea” was Handel’s first dramatic work with an English libretto. It is a masque, a genre popular in the Baroque era, which treated mythological and allegorical themes with lavish productions involving singers, instrumentalists, dancers, and actors. The story of Acis and Galatea, adapted from a tale in Ovid’s “Metamorphoses,” tells the story of the love of the shepherd Acis for the water nymph Galatea and the unfortunate complications that arise when the Cyclops Polyphemus wants Galatea for his own. The work was extremely popular in Handel’s day and is considered one of his most imaginative creations. The role of the chorus, in particular, is unusually prominent for a Baroque operatic work.

Ms. Mitchell has won first place in several prestigious vocal competitions in Italy, Germany, and the United States and recently completed her training at the International Opera School of the Royal College of Music, London. Mr. Chan has performed with the Cincinnati Chamber Opera, the Washington Savoyards, and the National Symphony Orchestra and has won several awards including the National Shirley Rabb Winston Scholarship Competition.

Mr. Hill is a graduate in vocal study from the University of Maryland. He has performed as soloist with the Washington Bach Consort, Bel Cantanti Opera, Washington Master Chorale, and Siena Music Festival in Italy. Mr. Tarr has appeared as soloist with New Dominion Chorale on numerous occasions. He has performed various roles with the Washington National Opera, Annapolis Opera, Bel Cantanti Opera, and Maryland Concert Opera.

New Dominion Chorale is one of the Washington area’s largest choruses, with 230 singing members. The Chorale has been praised in The Washington Post for performances that are “opulent, precise and powerful.” It is unique in its organizational structure as a “singers’ cooperative,” operating without paid management or offices. In addition to its regular performances at the Schlesinger Concert Hall, the Chorale has also performed at Washington National Cathedral, Washington Hebrew Congregation, George Mason University Center for the Arts, and the Concert Hall at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. During its 23 seasons, the Chorale has performed most of the great masterworks of the literature, with professional soloists and instrumentalists, and has premiered several works by its artistic director, including the internationally acclaimed “Yizkor Requiem.”

Tickets for “Acis and Galatea” are $30 (general admission), $25 (seniors), $5 (students and children), and $20 for individuals in groups of 10 or more. Tickets are available through the Chorale’s website, and at the door the day of the concert. Further information, including directions to the Schlesinger Center, is also available on the website or by calling 703-442-9404.

New Dominion Chorale is supported in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

New Dominion Chorale - PO Box 6691 - McLean, VA 22106
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